A Wick in the Wind

The Lalafellian ran through the crowded alleys of Kugane. He knocked down bins and crates in desperate hope to slow down his pursuers. A shadow passed over him, they were above him. The Lalafell darted into an open door and found himself inside a bustling kitchen. He weaved through the crowd of the kitchen staff and made his way to the front of the bar and restaurant. As he passed the bar, he tossed a small pouch onto it. The pouch landed with a heavy weight and gave a familiar clank of gil. The Lalafell didn’t even look at the bartender as he said, “you didn’t see me,” as he walked by hurriedly.

“This isn’t enough…”

The words from the bartender caused the Lalafell to freeze as he grabbed for the handle of the front door. He didn’t even turn around. He wasn’t even sure what he heard.

“This doesn’t even come close to the amount you owe me.”

Panic washed over the Lalafell’s face and his heart felt like it was going to leap out of his chest. He dashed out of the establishment and merged into the large flow of foot traffic that moved outside. The Lalafell weaved through the crowd and then darted into a Mahjong house. He flew past the front hostess and immediately sat himself at a table occupied by three other elderly women. They seemed deep into their game, but the Lalafell just needed somewhere to blend in. That was his specialty. He was good at appearing unassuming and blending into a crowd. He kept his head down and pretended to be just as involved in their game.

“I trusted you,” one of the old women said quietly. The Lalafell looked up and the three other women were still staring at their tiles intently. Which one spoke just now?

“I trusted you with a very important task,” said one of the women, still looking down at her tiles. Her voice was different from the first, but the cadence of what was said was exactly the same.

“You owed me and I gave you one task to make us even,” said the third woman, “but instead you took what was mine and ran.”
The Lalafell practically fell out of his chair and ran through to the Mahjong Hall. He reached the back door to the establishment and ran out. Not looking ahead, The Lalafell ran straight into a person and fell backwards. The man helped him back to his feet. “Rough day, friend?” the man asked.

“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you…” the Lalafell said breathlessly as he turned to walk away.

“I think I would” the man replied as he grabbed the Lalafell’s back collar. He lifted the diminutive fugitive off of the ground, turned, and slammed the Lalafell face-first into a wall. He continued as blood collected and began dripping down the wall. The man threw the lifeless small body to the side effortlessly. He lit a cigar and took a few puffs from it before he walked off.

“Should have just done what was asked, old boy,” he said as he walked away from the scene.(edited)